Meet the 9 Republican Speaker Candidates, Nearly All of Whom Tried to Overturn the 2020 Election

We're going on 3 weeks without a House Speaker and Republicans are now sending in all their wife guys, insurrectionists, and literal randos.

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From left: Gary Palmer (R-Ala.), Kevin Hern (R-Okla.), Byron Donald R-Fla.), and Dan Meuser (R-Pa.) Photo: Getty Images

Since Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was ousted as House Speaker lifetimes ago, Reps. Steve “David Duke without the baggage” Scalise (R-La.) and Jim “Gym” Jordan (R-OH) have both put their hats in the ring and failed spectacularly as the world laughed and cried, and at least one Republican member was compelled to pray. After Jordan’s third failed vote for Speaker, in the wake of a conflagration of cyberbullying and death threat allegations in his name, nine (9) (!!) different candidates for House Speaker declared their candidacies by noon on Sunday, which was Rep. Elise Stefanik’s (R-N.Y.) specified deadline.

Those candidates are—and prepare to hear a lot of names you’ve probably never heard before!!!—Reps. Jack Berman (R-Mich.), Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), Kevin Hern (R-Okla.), Mike Johnson (R-La.), Dan Meuser (R-Pa.), Gary Palmer (R-Ala.), Austin Scott (R-Ga.), and Pete Sessions (R-Texas). (The field is noticeably void of women, because apparently no matter how many times some mutation of the same crusty white man tries and fails, they are still preferable to women..?) To quote one Twitter user, “ok now they’re just making up congressmen.”

On first read of the names of these particularly self-important individualswho somehow watched the public humiliations of McCarthy, Scalise, and Jordan and still decided, It’s my time to shine!—all I could think of was Keke Palmer’s iconic 2019 line: “I hate to say it, I hope I don’t sound ridiculous, I don’t know who this man is.” And on first glimpse of (almost) all of their decidedly lily-white Congressional portraits, I was struck by the feeling that this was all some sort of gag: Who is AI-generated and who is a real Republican Congressman???

For your convenience, I’ve scraped together the varying oddities and scandals of each of these men’s careers and taken it upon myself to introduce you to the utter charisma void that is the Republican House Speaker field—which consists largely of Wife Guys, insurrectionists, and total randos. Few are remarkable, none are good, seven didn’t vote to certify the 2020 presidential election results, and all are complete and utter dweebs. Unfortunately, one of them may—or, at this rate, may not!—be our next House Speaker. Come Monday evening, the candidates will make their pitches at a caucus candidate forum before a secret ballot scheduled for bright and early Tuesday morning.

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